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Grateful Dead Live at Shrine Auditorium on 1968-08-23


Topics Live concert


Cryptical Envelopement-> The Other One-> Cryptical Envelopement, Dark Star-> Saint Stephen-> The Eleven-> Death Don't Have No Mercy, Alligator-> Drums-> Alligator-> Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)


Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Date August 23, 1968
Venue Shrine Auditorium
Location Los Angeles, CA

Source Soundboard
Lineage 8 track multitrack Reels> Sonic Wizardry > DAT > Cassette > DATs > CDRs > EAC > SHN
Transferred by Darrin Sacks


Notes

Not a note of this material appears on Two From The Vault. It turns out that TFTV is composed exclusively of 8.24.68.

Updated lineage: 8 track multitrack Reels> "Sonic Wizardry"> DAT> Cassette> DATs> CDRs> EAC> SHN

[Had been marked: The source info for 8.23.68 is thus identical to that of TFTV, namely: 8 track multitrack Reels>"Sonic Wizardry">DAT>CDR.]

Reviews

Reviewer: doug_the_dude - - August 22, 2013
Subject: --
Just off the chain. No need for any kind of deconstruction here, kiddos - you're going to want this. Only caveat here is that outright painful, ice pick-under-your-toenail cut that separates the Eleven from Death Don't. But soldier on, brave deadhead...that Jam into Caution is where the true guts of this show reside.
Reviewer: hunter9999 - - November 9, 2011
Subject: Mindblowing
One of the best shows ever. Clementinecaboose said it all. Alligator is definetly the best they ever did - simply unbelievable.
This show is a must have!
Reviewer: Hung, Wae-lo - - September 30, 2011
Subject: Friend of mine out of St Stephen?
...out of St Stephen the notes have a "He was a friend of mine" -esqueness to them, or is just me?
Reviewer: njpg - - August 24, 2011
Subject: Brilliant
Flawless recording, genius show.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - - August 2, 2011
Subject: One of '68s Best
This whole run of 8/21-24 is just mind-blowing stuff. It's been said before but Fall '68 (starting here) thru April '69 has got to be one of the most consistently excellent and exciting periods of the band's history.

The Other One/Cryptical is fully formed by these shows and I think this could be my favorite of the four. Just sheer balls during TOO, Cryptical is gorgeously jammed out, rising to a wonderful peak and then quietly gliding to a halt.

Listening to this Dark Star again, man this is just great stuff. My new favorite of '68 - Jerry's range of tone, color and emotion is just mesmerizing. '68 Dark Stars may be seen by some as more "one dimensional" but not me. This is as good as it gets.

The Eleven - damn, the night after is great, but this trumps it easily. The speed and intensity of this version is unbelievable. Just when you think they're running out of gas, it picks up a full head of steam during the transition to Death Don't. That cut is a total bummer though.

And Alligator>Caution - well, all I can say is there's a reason they included as a the Anthem bonus track; this is one of the best versions they ever did.

The only negative I could muster here (and this is nothing against the show itself) is the tracking is really poor. The beginning of St. Steven is at the end of Dark Star and Drums>Gator>Caution are all one track; kind of annoying.
Reviewer: ballin-that-jack - - May 7, 2011
Subject: Sleepy Alligator
It was circa 1994 when my boy Pete's Dank rolled into town like a runaway freight train with this dirty nugg he had brought with him from Madtown. We were all searching for the sound in those days and the score was a crispy lo-gen SBD. When Pete unearthed this gem we could not believe our ears or our minds. Break out the Maxell XLII-S. The bus came by and our next stop was late summer '68 on the West Coast for an ivy league education in the Psychedelic Blues from Professor Pigpen. Can you pass the acid test? Let's just say I graduated magna cum laude and was ready to pursue a master's degree.

The meat is the Alligator > Drumz > Alligator > Caution. Pig calls for his whiskey as the boys tear down the Fillmore, gas the Avalon and build a Shrine to mind-bending expansiveness. A young Phillip Chapman Lesh unleashes his mighty bass as the Rhythm Devils pound away setting you off on a rocket ship to a higher existence. Then Pig takes over and provides a history lesson in the blues involving a gypsy woman who schools him on the aspect that all one really needs is just a touch...of mojo hand. The feedback is positive as you are left on a new potato caboose of graceful instuments where your love has become a toothless crone.

Five stars on this one and thanks to Pete for dropping this nugg upon us.
Reviewer: eaglessoar - - August 23, 2010
Subject: just the first show: awesome!
regardless of the actual dates of either part of the show this review is only for the first part up to the 2nd st stephen

awesome! all the way through, its 68 theres nothing more to say everything was as expected which was better than expected, caution is included in the alligator the "all you need" segment was far out, really cool. and the dark star was super, sublime, just great!
Reviewer: deadhindu - - July 13, 2010
Subject: we need not fret
about the mislabeling of 60 shows, it was 50 years ago, lets just enjoy the music right here, right now
Reviewer: Smerdyakov - - March 14, 2010
Subject: Crucial Material
The prime show here is an absolutely essential example of vintage Dead. The cut in The Eleven is a shame but is long forgotten by the time the boys go into hyperspace during Alligator. Epic Dark Star!!
Reviewer: L. Rosley - - June 13, 2009
Subject: Two shows: second is outstanding
The beginning of this recording is from a “show” called “5/0/68” here at Archive. It is definitely not from 8/23, with a very early St. Stephen.—definitely not from August. (This “show” is possibly a studio run-through for Anthem of the Sun.) It’s good stuff, but not as exciting as the second show, the actual 8/23 material. A lot Caution in this first show is missing, unfortunately.

Starting with the second Cryptical, we have a really outstanding show, part of an amazing run of 8/21, 8/22, 8/23, and 8/24 (released as “Two From the Vault” – I agree that none of this 8/23 material is on Two From the Vault. The CD may use other songs from this show that aren’t here). The Cryptical reprise settles down to an almost introspective quiet section with understated organ, bass, and Jerry interplay. They holding back for several minutes before launching into the next extended jam, which simply ends. (No New Potato here, but there is a good one the previous night, 8/22/68.)

The Live Dead-era material is the highlight of these four shows. With this run of shows, they really got Dark Star right – this week began the golden age of Dark Stars. In this one, Jerry places every note where it should be, and Phil acts as Jerry’s copilot. In contrast to the Anthem of the Sun material in this show, Dark Star is an introspective journey, as the best Dark Stars are, ebbying and flowing, rising and falling. Yet, it has musical form, and remains melodic. Comparabile to the 20th-century classical composers Nielson or Sebalius.

We get a classic St. Stephan, which explodes after the vocals just before The Eleven, then settles into the 3-3-3-2-metered (11/4 time) jam. Superb, The Eleven is exciting stuff, and it rocks. The transition into Death Don’t Have No Mercy subtly begins at about 8 minutes with a key change. It’s still jamming along in 11/4 at a fast pace, but is now in the minor key of Death. After a few minutes there’s the gradual slowing in to Death Don’t Have No Mercy. Unfortunately, there is a painful gap in the recording during the transition. (This transition is complete in the 8/21 show.)

Death Don’t Have No Mercy is another great performance. Jerry’s vocal and guitar transmit passion and anguish, as does the best of the blues.

Alligator starts out bouncy, and we finally get to hear Pigpen, who is up to the task. After drums the Alligator reprise is exciting, electric, and inspired. Again, Jerry and Phil going to town.

The tracks are mislabeled here: Caution actually starts 16 minutes into Track 16, first the intro, then Pigpen goin’ down to see the gypsy woman one fine day, yes he did. All you got have is just a little touch of mojo hand… It’s wild and psychedelic, evolving into feedback.

Track 17 here is three minutes of feedback, or space—they’re playing feedback like instruments in a musical composition, and a slow, quiet one at that. They touchdown for the landing, and we're back on earth.
Reviewer: ekoostikhippie - - January 19, 2009
Subject: welllll
i was gonna write a review(still am to vote) but R. Scott too every word from me...prolly even the subject. I cant pull myself from the 60's Dead and most of that i think is faulted to pigpen!!!!
Reviewer: Dead_head42069 - - October 6, 2008
Subject: 1968
JERRRY DARKKSTARRRR
Reviewer: R. Shott - - March 17, 2008
Subject: immersed in early GD
Holy gawd…’66, ’67, ’68 just sucks you in, never gets old & truly permeates the soul.

Pigpen is still King, what an awesome bluesy, acidy, raucous, flowing psychedelic sound they had. Like the one reviewer said not a bad show in ’68, maybe just sound quality issues, but come on how lucky are we to have all these sound files. Great organ on this set, pre-TC.

Listen to all the fantastic Aligator/Cautions/Viola Lees/St.Stephen’s/Crypticals/Other Ones/Darks of this era….
Reviewer: dirty jev-o - - January 18, 2008
Subject: revised review
after further {yes} review
this show is sick---always liked the 68 stuff...immaculata!!!!!
Reviewer: Mandojammer - - June 18, 2007
Subject: Am I the Only One...............???
*****Hyperbole warning*****

All of this is fantastic. Glad someone sorted out the filler issue. I'm sitting here at work with a melted head and have stopped answering the "Who is that?" question from everyone walking by/into my office. I decided to stream this one because it's my daughter's birthday. The Eleven is epic (IMHO) - listen to Bill and Mickey weave a tapestry in percussion. They rock like a rowboat on the ocean in a force 9 storm.

I'd almost forgotten how damn good these guys were good early. Looks like the office gets a trip down 1968 flashback lane tomorrow........
Reviewer: Arck - - June 18, 2007
Subject: It's been a while, but...
...to continue (almost conclude?) the discussion of the filler, which had been inactive for a year or so, we now can say with a bit more accuracy (although one or two of you got it right anyway) when the filler is from.

The week from January 1-7 of DL's Taper's Section at dead.net included a St Stephen> That's It For The Other One from "early-1968 Carousel" (that's what it says on the tape). Anyway, it's the same as the St Stephen> That's It For The Other one here listed as 8.29.68. Deadbase gives the first St Stephen as 5.24.68 so, assuming that St Stephen was first in setlists from May, and knowing that the filler is from the Carousel, it must be from either the end of May/beginning of June run or early June run at the Carousel.

The St Stephen is pretty tentative so it must be an early one (and the ending, as opposed to a William Tell Bridge) is a dead giveaway.

(Deep breath) - sound right to you? Whatever the case, it's sweet filler.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - - May 21, 2006
Subject: Essential
I had written this origonally in July of 2005 below but on listening to this again it is simply amazing jamming. What a stretch August was for them... This caution is the longest I have heard apart from Amsterdam or Rotterdam whichever night they played Pig's last one... Unreal show and wonderful sound.


There is too much to rant and rave about here just listen up and disregard the cuts and glitches.
Reviewer: whirlwind dreamer 65-95 - - October 4, 2005
Subject: 68 rocks
the electricity is flowing through out this is high qual. sound!! left a smokin crater in my mind!!!check it out,
Reviewer: macfawlty - - August 15, 2005
Subject: High Energy All the Way Through
I don't care about the origin of the filler... just glad to have it. New Potato is very creative and unique. Caution is real fast burnin' it up and Pig comes in for the midsection with a little blues rap but it gets cut. Cryptic and Other One ebb and flow with energy providing alternating relief and excitement. And a beautiful Jerry lead in to Dark Star with that nice medium tempo and aside from a few vocal lines in the middle, all Jerry with great support from the band. Solid vocals on St. Steph, real tight. Eleven, again well balanced high energy and relief, mostly HIGH energy. Death Mercy starts very gentle with nice Jerry vocal and volume picks up in middle and end. Alligator pretty unique, havin' fun on the short. Not sure how well Feedback fits, but trippy. So much to love here. Quite a standout. I love this period.
Reviewer: phleshy - - June 5, 2005
Subject: 8/29/68
The filler to this show, labeled August 29th, 1968, is clearly mis-dated. The Saint Stephen (or what's left of it) is the most obvious clue to the mystery date. One the 8/23 show, St. Stephen has the William Tell bridge segueing into the Eleven. On "8/29," the Stephen has the "Can you answer/Yes I can/But what would be the answer to the answer man?" line, then a jam on the theme behind those lyrics, segueing into Cryptical. The funny thing is, the 6/14/68 Stephen had a very similar end jam attached to it, dating this St. Stephen (and the rest of the show) several months earlier than 8/29.

In fact, it may be possible that this show occured before 6/14. It's also especially unlikely that this show could have been recorded at a tiny club such as the Matrix, since the SBD suggests a far bigger venue. My best guess would be one of the Carousel Ballroom shows 5/30-6/1/68 or 6/7-6/9/68 or maybe even Shrine Exhibition Hall 5/17/68.
Reviewer: NYLifer - - May 22, 2005
Subject: Editing Notes
8-29-68

St. Stephen is only the last 15 seconds. after "Answer Man" there is a unique 2:24 jam before the Cryptical starts.

The Alligator breaks down as:

Alligator --> 4:02
Drums --> 2:32
Alligator --> 2:49
Drums --> 0:16

The tracking is off by 1 second or so on a few tracks.

I don't know why the filler stays listed here and does not get it's own entry as 8-29-68, even if it's questionable, seems clear it's NOT part of 8-23-68.

8-23-68

The Second To Last Track is not really drums Alligator as listed. I busted it up this way:

drums > 3:54 (some bass notes around 3:20)
Alligator Jam (no vocals) > 10:19
Caution > 12:29
Feedback 0:43
Reviewer: cardgamermanguy - - May 7, 2005
Subject: Powerful LP
Never again did Jerry's guitar sing as beutiful after he got rid of his Les Paul. He couldn't get the kickass sound out of any of his later guitars. Screw the Alembic. Awesome show, Phil is amazing, drums are perfect, solos are flawless, singing is fantastic, and the sound quality fucking rules.
Reviewer: Jimi @ Holy Grail Studios - - April 29, 2005
Subject: Gotta have this one !
If you like 2ftv then you gotta love this one .Plus the additional material from the 29? is really good too.I think the other reviewers missed out on the text which kind of explains the 2 source materials.make sure to read for clarification on what is going on here.
This is not mastered or mixed as well as 2ftv but shit the original 8 tracks are great.plus the performance on this date is way better than 2ftv IMHO.
Don't miss this one.
Reviewer: spleenboy - - February 16, 2005
Subject: The Two-Tape Conspiracy
Were my ears deceived? Did I detect a second tape source for the material after Gator>Caution, starting w/ the second batch of Cryptical? The mix suddenly alters. Two separate shows maybe (first/second set), from two sources? The set lists would make sense that way...Also might explain previous reviewer's findings.

This can sound surprisingly good with a little EQ'ing, and you can hear many details, but they are "muddy" to varying degrees.

But man is this download worth it. Look at the set list, and yeah, this is the kind of 1968 freak out you could dream of (Gator's mystical percussion and Jer's tender solo) These are our holy relics. (All this, even before before I've heard this version of "The Eleven").
Reviewer: jhc - - October 26, 2004
Subject: Confused about setlist
Where did the tracks before (the second) Cryptical>Other 1>Cryptical come from? Are they duplicates from another source, or from another night, or ???
Reviewer: bigbird - - October 20, 2004
Subject: typical
This ,to me,is the dead,i first bought anthem of the sun in edinburgh when i was 15..(many moons ago),i love this sound..this show is a must for all heads..
Reviewer: DeadDave - - October 11, 2004
Subject: Some on Anthem remaster
This show is awesome, incredible sound quality. Alligator-Caution-Feedback is on the end of Anthem of the Sun remaster...and extreme to say the least.

Dead logic: 2 Shrine shows recorded...1st show (this one) excellent, 2nd show was shut down by the cops during Morning Dew (last song?). Well, release the 2nd then. hence: Two from the vault. Same place, nearly exacting set-lists.

These were multi-track recorded!!! Bag it now
Reviewer: brendanmcauley - - August 29, 2004
Subject: stephen is cut
sounds good but too many other shows in the sea...stephen starts in at the last verse...decent quality
Reviewer: hippieman556 - - August 23, 2004
Subject: this show is on fire
this show is so good it makes it seem as if you were there on stage with the band
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